Liquid sandpaper is a chemical solution that removes the glossy layer from a painted item, enabling you to paint over the object without the paint dripping off. Unlike regular sandpaper, it just removes gloss; it can’t be used to smooth the surface, correct imperfections or as a paint primer. Liquid sandpaper is also referred to as deglosser and wet sanding.

The advantage of using liquid sandpaper instead of regular sandpaper is that it’s easier to apply and safer to use. You just rub liquid sandpaper over the object you wish to paint, wait a set amount of time and wipe off. There is no physical exertion necessary and no messy dust particles to sweep away. Furthermore, when you sand an older object using standard sandpaper, there is the possibility of inhaling toxic lead particles; however, liquid sandpaper obviates that risk. In addition, liquid sandpaper is ideal for removing paint from ornate objects that have grooves and intricate designs. It’s almost impossible to sand down such delicate objects with traditional sandpaper.

Before you use liquid sandpaper, thoroughly clean the surface of the object you're sanding with soap and water. Then dry the surface with a clean, lint-free cloth. This prevents loose pieces of dust that naturally attach to an object from remaining on the surface and being painted over. Next, rub in the liquid sandpaper using another clean, lint-free cloth. Let it sit for the amount of time specified on the package and then dry the object with another cloth.

Since the chemicals in the liquid sandpaper solution give off very strong fumes, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area and use gloves and eye protection. In addition, the solution is extremely flammable, so keep away from high heat and fire when applying the liquid sandpaper and dispose of the used cloths safely.